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Abid, Masood centuries flay Sri Lanka in second Test
Match Report

Abid, Masood centuries flay Sri Lanka in second Test

Abid Ali and Shan Masood shared a mammoth opening stand of 278 to put Pakistan in command against a hapless Sri Lankan side in the Karachi Test.

The two opening batters struck incredible tons following which skipper Azhar Ali extended Pakistan's dominance with a fine half-century as the home side acquired a substantial lead of 315 runs by the close of play.

With plenty of time remaining in the game, Pakistan are placed as strong favourites to bat another session and a half before handing Sri Lanka the daunting task of chasing down a gargantuan target on a worn-out pitch.

Azhar was unbeaten on 57, a much-needed fifty arriving after a gap of 14 innings, and Babar Azam was not out on 22 as both batsmen seemed to have settled into their groove.

Abid and Masood resumed at 57-0 on the start of the third day and wasted no time in erasing the 80-run first-innings deficit.

The right-left duo raced to their respective 50-run milestones with the run rate rarely dropping under four over the course of their ceaseless progress.

Sri Lanka failed to find opportunities to breach the defences of the batsmen or stall their run-scoring spree, toiling hard on an unhelpful playing surface.

Instead of an engaging contest between the two sides, the match changed into a battle amongst the batters to excel the other and reach personal milestones.

Abid, nicknamed 'legend', was the first to touch the three-figure mark as he was greeted to raucous applause from the sparsely filled National Stadium.

His second century in three innings has landed him in an elite list comprising of cricketers with two hundreds in the first two Tests of their careers.

He was eventually dismissed for an outstanding contribution of 174 to a Lahiru Kumara delivery that kept too low and struck his front pad.

Unwilling to trudge back to the pavilion, Abid called for an optimistic review that returned three reds on hawkeye.

"The management calls me legend, thanks to them," he said following his marathon knock.

"But it adds to my responsibility to perform well. This time we were under pressure because of the lead we conceded, but I am happy that we are now in a good position."

Earlier, Kumara had dismissed Masood to put an end to the imposing opening partnership on 278 - 20 runs short of equalling the Pakistan record of the highest first-wicket stand set by Aamer Sohail and Ijaz Ahmed in 1997.

The left-hander blasted seven fours and three sixes to bring up just the second century of his career before he departed for an impressive 135.

Masood also went past 1,000 runs in Test cricket, reviving his career in the longer format after a mediocre start in the international arena.

Azhar's innings, meanwhile, was not as chanceless as the preceding batters since he required some effort trying to recoup his confidence.

He was dropped on 11 by the man stationed at short-leg when he was deceived by a deft change in pace from Kumara.